Capitol Week In Review: Senate Passes Bills To Allow Families To Sue Abortion Providers

Friday, March 6th 2020, 7:40 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

This week Governor Kevin Stitt ducked voters’ questions about Medicaid expansion, but answered questions about the coronavirus.

Seven Oklahomans have been tested; five are negative, one test is pending, and Stitt and health officials announced Friday that one test has come back positive for COVID-19.

About a dozen people delivered a petition to the governor’s office, demanding he set a date for a vote on Medicaid expansion. More than 300,000 people signed a petition to have State Question 802 put on the ballot, but the governor still hasn’t set a date for the vote.

“And we’ve simply been waiting for the governor to set an election date. This is a very very important policy to thousands and thousands of Oklahomans who are in need of healthcare access,” said Angela Monson with Together OK.

The state Senate passed legislation that will provide for state licensing for midwives, and passed a bill cracking down on those who assault hospital workers. Senators also passed a bill requiring schools to have physical fitness tests and a bill that would allow families of aborted babies to sue abortion providers.

“Roughly 69% of women are coerced into getting an abortion,” Senator David Bullard (R) Durant said citing numbers from a pro-life organization. Opponents argued Senate Bill 1728, known as the Unborn Person Wrongful Death Act, is unconstitutional. 

The State House of Representatives passed a bill to put the national motto, “In God We Trust” in almost every state building and passed a bill making it a misdemeanor to steal a delivered package off your porch, regardless of the value of the package. And if porch pirates are caught more than once it’s bumped up to a felony.

“House Bill 2777 is a simple bill that just protects your mail or a package during transit and makes sure that it is delivered to your house safely,” said Representative Ross Ford (R) Broken Arrow.

That bill now goes to the state Senate.

Next week is the second deadline week of the session where bills have to move out of their house of origin. During the last deadline week, 75% of the 5,200 bills proposed this year got the ax.